Tis the season for gift giving. As a result, many California residents are turning to their credit cards as a way to be the ultimate gift giver. However, when the holiday season is over, the credit card debt accrued during this time of year can stick around, proving to be a substantial piece of coal in anyone’s stocking all year long.

Recent statistics have reported that credit card debt across the country is on the rise again. It was released that for the third quarter of 2012, the average amount of credit card debt was just under $5,000. This is a 4.9 percent rise from the third quarter of 2011.

It was also reported that the number of consumers who were 90 days or more behind on payments has also risen, from 0.71 percent in the third quarter of 2011, to 0.75 percent for the third quarter in 2012. This increase however was even more magnified if looking at the second quarter of 2011. It was reported that only 0.60 percent were behind on payments at that time.

It can be easy for many California consumers to lose track of the amount of credit card debt they are piling up during the excitement of the gift-giving season. However, even if this debt begins to soar out of control, there may still be some options available for consumers to rid themselves of this debt. Filing for bankruptcy is one such option, which may be the solution that some consumers need in order to get their financial status back on track and under control.

Source: USA Today, “Average credit card debt per borrower up in 3Q,” Nov. 19, 2012